While victorious Spain remains in the top place thanks to their successful defense of the Euro 2012 championship, Vietnam saw a steep fall in the latest FIFA ranking, released Wednesday.
The country slipped from 100th to 122nd place, but fortunately remains on top of the Southeast Asia region, as its biggest rival, Thailand, stands at 135th place.
The Philippines is ranked #152, immediately followed by regional neighbor Indonesia.
In the leading group, Spain is followed by Germany, Uruguay, England, Portugal, and Italy.
A disappointing failure at the Euro 2012 sent the Netherlands to four ranks lower, at number 8, while Euro 2012 runner-up Italy jumped six places to 6th.
Brazil experience an astonishing drop from #5 to #11, its worst ranking since 1993.
The Faroe Islands lose the most places -- 33 – by dropping to 155th place, while Tahiti posted the highest growth, from #179 to #138.
Last month saw a total of 133 international football matches played worldwide, including 31 games at Euro 2012, 60 at the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, and 27 friendly games.
Vietnam played three friendly games last month, with a 0-3 defeat against China, and two victories over Hong Kong (2-1), and Mozambique (1-0).
AFF Cup preparation
The Vietnam Football Federation has assigned its general secretary, Ngo Le Bang, to attend the group drawing ceremony for the coming 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup in Thailand on July 11.
Coach Phan Thanh Hung, who is temporarily taking the helm at the national football squad, was not invited since he has yet to sign an official contract with the team.
According to the ranking system of AFF, Vietnam is the number 1 football team in the region with 20 points, followed by Indonesia (19.3), Malaysia (18), Singapore (16), Thailand (16), and the Philippines (12).
These six nations are automatically appointed to the final stage of the tournament, while the four remaining members, including Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and East Timor, have to challenge each other in qualifiers to choose the two best teams for the final round.
“It’s not easy to say which rivals Vietnam wants to avoid at the group stage,” said Bang.
“Malaysia is the reigning champions, and has regularly beaten Vietnam over the last few years, while Thailand is still a big opponent in the region.
“Besides, other contenders are also dangerous, such as the Philippines, which had an impressive performance at the 2011 event, and is making steady progress.
“So what’s important here is to strengthen the Vietnamese squad to be able to beat any rivals,” he concluded.